Fundoplication: Before Your Surgery

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What is fundoplication surgery?

This surgery is done to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The doctor strengthens the valve between the stomach and the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.

The doctor wraps the upper part of the stomach (fundus) around the lower part of the esophagus. This prevents stomach acid from moving back into the esophagus. After surgery, you should have fewer symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn.

This is usually a laparoscopic surgery. This means the doctor makes small cuts in your belly to do the surgery. These cuts are called incisions. The doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through the incisions. The doctor is able to see your organs with the scope. Most people stay in the hospital 2 to 3 days. You will probably be able to go back to work in 2 to 3 weeks. It depends on the type of work you do.

Your doctor may do an open surgery instead. The doctor makes a larger incision in the middle of your belly. You will probably stay in the hospital for 4 or 5 days after open surgery. Most people are able to go back to work 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery.

The type of surgery you have depends on your health needs. The incisions from both types of surgeries leave scars that fade over time.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

 
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
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    Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
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    Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
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    Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
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    The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
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    You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
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    The surgery will take about 2 to 3 hours.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.